I survived the first three weeks…

Greg L. Turnquist
4 min readMar 12, 2024

…and you can too!

If you aren’t aware, last year while writing the manuscript for 12 Rules For Pro Coders, I penciled down tips on what to do on your first day a a pro coder at a new position.

I then went on with suggestions about the first week, first month, six months, and a year.

And then Broadcom decided to lay me off.

After securing a new position and starting last month, I felt like everything I had written down in that chapter of my book was being put to the test.

To catch you up, here are some key tips if you find yourself in new position.

1. First Day

On your first day, you should focus on getting hooked into your company’s email, instant messenger (Slack, etc.), and other systems.

Focus on filling out any paperwork they send to you. Whatever they give you, whether it’s a meeting invite, a video to watch, or a something to read, focus on completing it.

No one will be asking you to write software on Day 1.

Above all, listen. Your immediate manager will probably do most of the talking. Just take notes. No one is expecting you to memorize anything.

Start drinking from the firehouse…and while it may be a little crazy, enjoy it.

2. First week

For starters, do you have a work machine yet? That’s pretty important, right?

If they haven’t gotten one to you, then either reach out to your manager, or perhaps they have you linked up the system administrator. Someone should be facilitating getting you set up like this.

Assuming you DO have a work machine, have you grabbed a copy of the repository you are going to be working on? I suggestion you simply find time and start reading the code. Or the build files. Perhaps they have a Jenkinsfile spelling out their pipelines.

Start trying to drink in the information. You’ll have to get warmed on it sooner or later.

At Cockroach Labs, I have been assigned a “roachmate”, someone that meets with me once-a-week. On my first meeting, this person walked me through the high-level fundamentals on how CockroachDB…



Greg L. Turnquist

Sr. Staff Technical Content Engineer at CockroachDB • YouTube Content Creator at https://youtube.com/@ProCoderIO • Best-Selling Author • Coffee Lover